Grey Cup 2011: 10 Things You Didn't Know About The BC Lions And Winnipeg Blue Bombers
VANCOUVER - Ten things you might not know about the Grey Cup finalists:
GOLDEN SMILE: With his long black hair and bushy beard defensive tackle Khreem Smith is an intimidating figure. The six-foot-three, 270-pound native of St. James, Jamaica, is even more menacing when he smiles, showing a row of five golden front teeth. But looks can be deceiving. The soft-spoken Smith has a teaching degree and spent last winter working as a substitute teacher at an elementary school in Miami. Smith admits he gets the student's attention when he walks into the room. "They don't really see guys like me teaching," he says with a laugh. "They listen more."
TOTAL ENTERTAINMENT: Slotback Arland Bruce is one of the most entertaining players in the CFL, but doesn't confine his talents to the field. Bruce owns his own record company in Kansas City called MMR World Wide or Money Making Resources World Wide. "We do all music A-Z," Bruce said. "If you are talented we feel like we can get you on the big stage." The versatile Bruce also writes his own music. The Toronto Argonauts played a song he wrote and performed after they scored a touchdown. "Canada has been good for me," Bruce said. "I have had the opportunity to make it to three Grey Cups. I feel like it was only right to give back."
SURE THING: Placekicker Paul McCallum is as close to a sure thing as you can find on a football field. McCallum hasn't missed a field-goal attempt in eight playoff games since joining the Lions in 2006. He's kicked 29 in a row and was perfect on four attempts in last week's win over Edmonton in the West Final. The 41-year-old, who was named the league's outstanding special teams player, isn't superstitious. "I see a ladder I will walk under it just out of spite," he said.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD: Centre Angus Reid is an accomplished illustrator. He likes drawing caricatures and portraits. Pencil and charcoal are his favourite medium. "That's how I honour people I look up to, I do a caricature drawing and give it too them as a gift," he says.
LABOUR OF LOVE: Offensive guard Jon Hameister-Ries is turning one of his favourite foods into a business. Hameister-Ries is opening a poutine shop in downtown Vancouver along with former Lion Sherko Haji-Rasouli. "Why not poutine?" he says. "I love poutine. There is not a lot of poutine in downtown Vancouver. It's something we both like to eat."
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
LITTLE BROTHER: Receiver Terrence Edwards has made his own name in the CFL but when he broke into the league with Montreal in 2005, he was known mainly as the younger brother of running back Robert Edwards. Robert was a first-round pick of the New England Patriots in 1998 whose NFL career ended when he blew out a knee. He recovered enough to join the Alouettes and was a two-time CFL all-star. Robert is now head coach at Arlington Christian School in Atlanta. "I've been 'Robert's little brother' for a long time," says Terrence. "I'm finally out of the shadow of my big brother, but he was a good shadow to be in."
RADIO DAYS: Defensive lineman Doug Brown not only writes a weekly column for the Winnipeg Free Press, he also hosts a weekly sports call-in show on CJOB/68 radio called Doug Brown's Spin-Zone. Offensive lineman Glenn January is co-host. Brown is expected to retire after the Grey Cup game. Don't be surprised if the well-spoken lineman becomes a fixture at TSN.
FISH AND GAME: Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce is an avid hunter and fisher who has also become involved in many charities in the Winnipeg area. This season he was also named as a spokesman for the Manitoba Wildlife Federation. The Hutchinson, Kansas native says his goal is to "preserve wildlife and wild species."
THREE-WAY PLAYER: Star defensive back Jovon Johnson hopes to get playing time on offence at some time in the future. He already plays defence and on special teams as a kick returner. Playing on offence would make him perhaps the first three-way player since the old-time football of the 1950s and early 1960s. "In high school I played all three," says the native of Erie, Pa. "I put in my wish to play offence, but they don't want to let me do that yet."
ANOTHER ARTIST: Long snapper Chris Cvetkovic has a talent for drawing caricatures and has filled a dressing room billboard in Winnipeg with funny pictures of his teammates. The team's ''class clown'' drew his first one as a joke on former teammate Dominic Picard. ''Everyone got a rise out of it and now I get requests: 'Put up the DBs, put up Swaggerville, put up the quarterbacks.''' He says the easiest teammate to draw is centre Obby Khan because ''he's 90 per cent hair.''